Three-way tie elects Striegler, Arthur, Balko to Snowmass fire board |

Three-way tie elects Striegler, Arthur, Balko to Snowmass fire board

One incumbent, two newcomers win first contested election since 2006

Local Steve Kelly places his vote for the Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District board in Station 45 in Snowmass Village on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. There were four candidates and three seats to fill. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Three was the magic number in a special district election for the Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District’s Board of Directors election Tuesday night.

The election resulted in a three-way tie among incumbent Elizabeth (Ellie) Striegler and board newcomers Scott Arthur and Greg Balko, who will each fill one of three open seats on the board with a three-year term, according to the district’s designated election official Susan Herwick.

That’s “unheard of,” Herwick said in a phone call Tuesday night. Election workers even counted the ballots three times to check. Each time, Striegler, Arthur and Balko all received 73 votes in their favor.

A fourth candidate, Bill Boineau, was not reelected. Herwick did not disclose his vote count in the phone call. Boineau’s vote count was not included in an abstract of the election results that was posted at the Snowmass Village fire station Tuesday evening, according to Herwick and Boineau. Boineau said in a phone call that he went to the station to check the results and only saw the counts for the three top vote-getters.

Arthur, Balko and Striegler join Dave Heivly and Drew Detrick, whose seats were not up for reelection this year. The three seats up for grabs this year were previously filled by Boineau, Striegler and Donna Aiken. Aiken did not run for reelection this year.

The Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District and the Basalt and Rural District are both part of the Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority that formed in 2018.

The districts both contribute money to the authority through property tax revenue and other sources; the districts share most resources, including funding and staffing, under the umbrella of Roaring Fork Fire Rescue. The authority services Snowmass Village, Basalt and the surrounding areas.

Three members from the Snowmass-Wildcat board and three from the Basalt and Rural board form the Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Board of Directors, which determines how to allocate funding across the entire authority service area.

This was the first contested election for the Snowmass-Wildcat fire board since 2006. Arthur, a retired firefighter from the district, and Balko, an emergency physician at Aspen Valley Hospital, both have decades of experience in emergency services.

Both expressed concerns during their campaign about the allocation of resources between the Snowmass-Wildcat and Basalt and Rural districts and how that allocation could impact the level of service in Snowmass Village.

Arthur said in a phone call Tuesday that he was looking forward to working together with the other members of the board.

“I think we’re going to be able to deal with some of the issues we have concerns about and at the same time steer things in a positive direction,” Arthur said.

Boineau, who has been involved with the district for decades as a firefighter/EMT and board member, said he was “surprised” the low turnout and “disappointed” not to be reelected, but acknowledged also that “that’s the way the cookie crumbles and the votes count.”

“I’m a little hurt, but times change, and that’s OK,” Boineau said.

Striegler thanked voters in a statement sent via text message.

“I look forward to continuing my service on the Snowmass(-)Wildcat and RFFRA boards,” she wrote.

Balko did not return a phone message seeking comment before the deadline Tuesday night.


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